A Rainbow Haunt: Q

Rainbow Street in Amman is one of my favourites. Sometimes, it has a little bit of a “tourist trap” feel despite the fact that most people I see frequenting the many establishments that line the street are Jordanian. It feels a little bit like how Seminyak in Bali felt to me maybe 10 years ago. That’s why despite the many delicious little cafes and restaurants along the strip (Turtle Green, Strada, Esmat) I’m always a little reluctant to “pop in” and try a new Rainbow place without first researching and looking up reviews.

Q Restaurant is a place I had passed numerous times. The sign out front stating “Soup of the day: wine” always elicited a little giggle from me, but I never stepped in. Right next another restaurant that has a cardboard cutout of a king and queen (not the King and Queen of Jordan) kind of turned me off. Stupid, I know, to associate two completely different establishments that share only a wall. So like Wild Jordan, Q was a wonderful surprise (where I plan on taking my colleagues from work soon). Continue reading

Spring has turned the desert green

20160401_113645Friday mornings are kind of a ritual between Ahmad and I. We normally start with breakfast at Usra, our favourite little hummus place, before heading out for whatever it is we have planned. The last few weeks however, we have not been able to leave the city for various reasons from work to weather and illness.

Two weeks ago, Ahmad and I spotted a little place near Usra that we decided would be our next Friday breakfast. And try it we did. The place (in the picture on the left) is one of the cutest hummuseries I’ve seen in Amman so far, a tiny hole-in-the-wall with tables pressed along the walls of a narrow room that opens up a little more at the back. I had been really sick so I was starving for a good Jordanian breakfast.

Continue reading

Secret Museums: Al Ahli Bank Numismatic Museum

One of the great things about teaching is that I get to see places I wouldn’t otherwise find or visit through field trips. As I am currently teaching my students about the history of money, our last field trip was to Al Ahli Bank’s Numismatic Museum.

The bus took us to the bank, where we climbed two or three flights of stairs up to the small, one-room museum. There is an enormous amount of information crowded into that tiny room (a little like the museum at the Citadel), with an impressive collection of ancient coins from both the Greek and Roman empires as well as a number of Islamic civilizations. Continue reading

Stand-up Amman

Back in January, Ahmad and I went to see Russell Peters perform live in Amman. I had previously seen him in Montreal and was a little disappointed by his set then because he performed for a very short while. In Amman, however, he came with three other fabulous comedians on his tour and altogether they performed for a whopping 2.5 hours! The show was sold out in days and held in a large theater, I assumed it was simply a one off.

So it seems Amman is surprising me in yet another way! On Saturday night, Ahmad and I attended a live show at Chaplin’s Comedy Club in Weibdeh, apparently the first comedy club in the Middle East! Hidden off Paris Circle in Weibdeh, Chaplin’s is a homey little place with a beautiful outdoor area in the summer and a spacious room set-up inside for live shows. Continue reading

Amman’s Gems: Wild Jordan Center

Last night while scanning the internet for a new Indian restaurant to try in Amman, I came across a Lonely Planet post saying: “Through no fault of its own, Amman has become the forgotten city of the Middle East. It is also the most underrated. The streets have ancient monuments and dusty history to rival Cairo, without the grinding traffic or pollution. Its suburbs have a vibrant restaurant and cultural scene to match neighbouring Beirut, but locals have kept it to themselves.”

This is so true. As time passes and I get to know the city a little better, I see that Amman has the thriving city-life that many other places have, but that it seems to be a well-kept secret that only those looking for these experiences find. From varied restaurants to comedy shows to concerts in the ancient Roman Theater (I hope to attend my first one end of April), Amman is home to a host of wonderful experiences. And although it is not a secret per say, Wild Jordan Center is among those many gems. Continue reading

On the Tourist Trail: Beit Sitti

We no longer have internet at home as we have apparently blown our way through 200gb in 3 weeks. The internet company told us the charge for internet per gig over our plan is 8 JD. To put that into perspective, we currently pay 38 JD per month for 200gb. Naturally, we refused.

So it is nearly two weeks later that I write about our experience taking a cooking class at Beit Sitti, something my flatmate and I had wanted to do for a little while. My flatmate’s friend from Germany offered us the opportunity as his way of saying “thank you” for letting him crash in our living room for a few days. It was very generous of him and I am very grateful. Continue reading

The World Scholar’s Cup, Amman Round

This year, 8 of my students participated in the World Scholar’s Cup in Amman, seven from sixth grade and one from seventh.

We arrived for the two-day competition early on Friday morning at the International Amman Academy (aka Queen’s School). The students were understandably visibly nervous but also very excited. There were at least seven of Amman’s top schools participating and all my sixth graders were new to the competition. Continue reading